I have built a world for myself
slowly, and without design
of flowers and paintings from other times.

Out of buttons and gold frames,
smiling faces of poets.
I have ignored the coughs of my parents

from darkened rooms; and within
I have erected structures that withstand time.
I walk there in frozen sunlight.

Arrange books and hold conversations with angels.
I tempt young men
and plan festivities far overseas.

I hear doors open and close;
I do not go near them
but wait for the world to disclose

New arrangements, new order of flowers,
new mail to open. My sister hears
the conversations I hold and walks away

with the moon in her arms. I do not trail after
but accept the footstep on the stair,
the whisper in the dark,

the new arriving of innumerable cracklings in the night.